This week is Islam Awareness Week held by Al-Madinah Cultural Center and the Muslim Student Association. Events will be held all week to increase awareness and understanding of Islam around campus. Islam Awareness Week is especially important considering many of the posters and chalkings for the week have been vandalized, torn down or erased from the sidewalks.
Given our campus’ history of hate crimes from anti-Semitic fliers shoved under professors’ doors to insensitive portrayals in cartoons, the actions by a few to act out their hatred by vandalizing Islam Awareness Week posters and chalkings is sad and shameful.
A quick spin on the Google news search will turn up dozens of other incidents of anti-Islamic and hate realted crimes. In Canada, a Sikh temple was burned to the ground; Sikhs sometimes are confused with Muslims. In France tensions still are simmering after riots earlier this year.
The focus should not, however, be on the acts themselves but on the individuals that have committed them. They especially must attend the events this week so perhaps their bigotries and unhealthy hatreds can be razed with human interaction and information.
We all can do better in understanding one another. But especially for cultures and groups that are the central focus of hatred due to media distortions and bigoted leaders, we should make attempts to understand Islam and participate in Islam Awareness Week.
For more information on the activities this week, please visit Al-Madinah’s Web site.
When at the core we are all so much alike, we must make serious efforts to question why some people are being demonized and made targets. World peace really is a breath away, if only we all took the time to breathe and realize we are all on the same planet with the same interests at heart.